LEXINGTON, Ky. – So how lucrative could the Central Kentucky market be for the slot-like historical horse racing game? The first month’s numbers for the joint facility operated at The Red Mile by the harness track and Keeneland might be an indication.
The Lexington parlor opened to the public Sept. 12, becoming the state’s third for historical horse racing, which regulators allowed as an alternative to slot machines. Proponents say the game is pari-mutuel, but a court case by the Family Foundation of Kentucky – which says the game is an illegal slot machine – lingers.
In a partial month, the Lexington facility handled $5.12 million, compared to the $5.01 million handled by Ellis Park, according to figures from the Kentucky Horse Racing Commission.
The Ellis number was up 54.7 percent over the prior September.
Kentucky Downs, the original historical horse racing site where Encore Gaming machines are used, $29.51 million in wagers were taken, an 11.58 percent gain over the prior September and the track’s best September handle since the game began there in 2011.
The handle for the state of $36.63 million was up 33.52 percent with the additional site. (The record single month was $40.52 million in July.